First things first: Aaron Rose is gone! Wait, isn’t he Blair’s stepbrother now? Shhhh! Don’t spoil the Christmas Miracle with all of your pertinent questions. Gone. Serena broke up with him on the plane to Buenos Aires, which is classic Serena. Aaron was probably keeping her from shining the way God intended, like by suggesting that everyone had the same set of airplane safety instructions. “But where is my golden flotation device and my diamond signal flare?” And cetra. That would of course beg the question of why she stayed in Buenos Aires for the duration of the trip anyway, and also who took the casual unstaged Flickr pictures that Dan is looking at at the beginning of the episode, and if she did stay for the whole vacation, did she end up taking the flight back with Aaron Rose post-break up? OMG, questions based on logic and narrative details are so stupes. Meanwhile, Chuck spent the holidays in an opium den, which is a real thing that high schoolers do all the time and I can’t wait for the New York Times Styles section article about it.
Rufus comes home. Wait, Rufus comes home? Right, because naturally he was gone for the entire holidays. Rufus tells Dan that he’ll walk him to school (from Dumbo to the Upper East Side, no big whoop) by saying “come on, I missed you for Christmas and New Years.” Yeah, come on, Dan. Your dad loves you so much when he is around! Outside the school, Rufus gets a phone call from Child Services and I am so excited that finally someone from the state is going to intervene in this negligence nightmare. But no such luck. She just called about Rufus and Lilly’s stupid secret teenage love baby. Child Services calling Rufus to talk about something other than his criminal disinterest in the wellbeing of his two teenage children is like the police calling a murderer to tell him that they found his wallet in a mailbox. FUCK THE WALLET! (What?)
Rufus is so mad that Lilly kept their secret adopted garbage baby a secret. Why? You don’t even give a shit about the ones you have now! At one point, Rufus is arguing with Lilly about it, and is like “I wanted to be a rockstar but instead I had two kids and I was there to take them to school every morning and talk about their days at night and if someone asked if I would trade that for the life I wanted when I was 19, I wouldn’t.” Haha. A negligent parent talking about how present they were in their children’s lives is like a racist talking about how many black friends he has. Besides, didn’t Rufus spend the whole summer trading his children for the life he wanted when he was 19? He tells Lilly that he will find their adopted secret teenage sadness baby on his own. That kid is going to finally meet the father he’s lucky he never had.
Meanwhile, now that Serena and Aaron Rose are no longer together, it frees Dan and Serena to rekindle their horrible, horrible love.
But as Gossip Girl voice-overs: “don’t break out the bubbly just yet.” What she means, of course, is that there’s trouble up ahead for these two jr. lovers. Although in reality no one should break out the bubbly because THEY ARE 17 YEARS OLD. That is not how people who are 17 celebrate getting back together for the third time. They celebrate by sneaking out of school to go fuck at Dan’s house (because when sneaking out of high school to fuck it’s best to go somewhere close by, like the way Dumbo is close to the Upper East Side) but Rufus is like “I don’t think this is a good idea.” So, naturally, Dan and Serena do what any two teenagers faced with a parent who disapproves of their relationship would do: they go to Dan’s house when Rufus isn’t there and they riffle through his things. Perfect. They should start their own private investigation company. Their first case will be the mystery of the teenage private investigators who killed themselves because they were the worst.
Chuck’s Uncle Jack drags him back from the opium den, but it’s like they say: you can take the adolescent out of the opium den, but you can’t take the opium out of the adolescent’s blood stream if he keeps smoking opium all the time. That old gem.
So Chuck gets kicked out of school and throws a party at his burlesque club and Blair is so worried about him that she even tells a bunch of uptight, tennis-sweatered old The C Words that she doesn’t want to be in the make believe society club that they just made up for Blair to care about, and she goes to the club where Chuck is on the roof, teetering on the edge. Will he fall off? Um, he’s Chuck Bass.
There is absolutely no tension in this scene. Admittedly, if this was David Simon’s Gossip Girl, or David Chase’s Gossip Girl, shit would have ended up very differently. But The CW has no balls. Blair and Uncle Jack pour Chuck a chauffeured limousine and then it turns out that Blair f’ed Uncle Jack on New Years. NO, DAVID BLAINE. I’m sorry, but you can’t just introduce a brand new character and then also create an instantaneous back-scandal for me to care about.
Meanwhile, Dan figures out that his dad and Lilly have a secret adopted teenage secret hush baby and he’s got to tell Serena because how on Earth could they possibly keep fucking knowing that somewhere out there is a fully-formed adult half-sibling that no one has any real relationship with? How? I actually find this to be a highly suspect “moral quandry,” considering the fact that their long-adopted shared half “sibling” doesn’t really make them brother and sister, like at all, certainly not any more than Rufus’s decades of pining over Lilly even after his son has already dated her daughter, twice, which is decidedly more inappropriate. We’re barely even on Royal Tenenbaums territory here. But anything that tears Dan and Serena apart is a welcome development. So Dan is about to tell Serena everything, but just then his phone rings (duh) and it’s Rufus who says that Dan can’t tell Serena because Lilly wants to tell her and it’s not Dan’s secret to share, but it is Dan’s secret to keep because Rufus and Lilly are leaving to go find their son. Nice. There are entire parenting guides just about how to best teach your child to lie to loved ones and how to instill in them the importance of making the simple truth a heavily fraught and dangerous thing.
With Rufus and Lilly leaving together that brings the grand total of children completely abandoned by their parents for indeterminate periods of time while they (the children) are actively in school on this show to 5 (if you include Chuck). Fucking ridiculous.
Also: Jenny blah blah blah mean girls blah blah blah I’m not little J anymore but I’m still the worst blah blah.